I'm so delighted to introduce Alys Fowler's guest blog entry. I first met Alys at the inaugural LitFest in 2013 and I can't wait to welcome her back to Ballymaloe next month. In this blog entry Alys shares her plan to take an exciting and alternative route to LitFest 2014:
I have been thinking about this for quite sometime, plotting and calculating how I am going to make room for it all. It’s a considerable problem. I have poured over maps, spent hours researching details on the Internet. I even considered bringing a folding canoe. All this for breakfast, I mutter as I oil the bike. ‘ I am doing all this for breakfast’ I sing as I cycle along.
This is my motivation, ever since I sat down for my first Ballymaloe breakfast; I’ve been plotting how it’s possible to eat it all. You see I want breakfast (actually I’d like three, THAT porridge, something from the boat, perhaps a round or two of soda bread dripping in jam). Of course after that is the delightful torture of what to eat from the Big Shed (I’m leaving space for Woodside Farm for sure) and then there’s tea (I intend to raid JR’s Dundee cake tin) and supper too, not forgetting the desert trolley. It’s quite the finest problem I have ever come across.
I am a glutton, but not for punishment. My mantra is this, you can never eat too much, just cycle too little. And if I am to fit it all in then I must earn those mouthfuls. Hence I have drawn a circuitous route that takes in a little of Cork, so I can stop for some coffee that I’ve heard is good. It goes over the River Lee because I am still hankering after the canoe part of this adventure, but have settled with the ferry and it takes as many edges and watersides as I could find. I don’t mind miles over motorways. Though I might change my position on that if it’s pouring with rain or howling with wind.
I am open to suggestion. If you see an obvious flaw in this route, please advise. If there’s a better way to get around the Belvelly channel or cross the Muir Cheilteach send me that way.
I am eager that this looping journey offers up some pretty waysides, that I might find a butterfly or two, gather some more bee sightings or find a little to forage. I hope it might please the other part of my brain, the bit that doesn’t always think about food. But if these things are absent I will burn forth, mile after mile motivated by thought of freshly churned butter thick enough for teeth marks on sweet soda bread and arrive, I hope, in time for tea or if all else fails, supper.
Love, the ever-hungry gardener.